(EDS: Updating with CPI-M’s decision to censure Minister) Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 26 (PTI) Amidst raging protests and public outcry over Power Minister M M Mani’s alleged offensive remarks against women and IAS officers, CPI-M in Kerala today decided to censure him.
The decision to censure Mani, a party Secretariat member, was taken at the party state committee meeting held here, a party release said.
“The CPIM has decided to censure him for making public statements denting the party’s reputation,” it said.
It came a day after the CPI-M Secretariat which discussed the issue and most of the senior leaders were said to have come out strongly against Mani’s conduct.
Mani courted controversy last week after he allegedly questioned the character of the women activists of ‘Pembila Orumai’, a group of planation workers, and flayed IAS officers who led the anti-encroachment drive in the hill resort town of Munnar.
Demanding his resignation and apology, the activists are staging an agitation in Munnar for the past four days.
Earlier in the day, Mani’s controversial remark had its echo in the state assembly for the second straight day with opposition UDF disrupting the proceedings leading to abrupt adjournment of the House for the day.
As part of the agitation, UDF leaders staged a dharna at the Martyrs Column here, demanding resignation of Mani, known to be make controversial remarks.
Leader of the Opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said Mani’s continuation as a Minister was a “shame”” to the state and asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to oust him.
Congress leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy visited the agitating women activists and expressed solidarity with them.
Chennithala wrote to DGP seeking registration of a case against Mani for his alleged remarks.
In the letter, Chennithala said the Minister should be booked under relevant sections of IPC for making insulting and sexually loaded remarks against women.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA P T Thomas sought the sanction of the Chief Minister to prosecute Mani over his remarks.
Thomas, in a letter, said sanction should be accorded to register criminal case against Mani for his remarks against Idukki Sub-collector Sriram Venkataramn, who headed the eviction drive in Munnar.
Though, anti-encroachments drive has been appreciated by all sections of the society, Mani, who hails from Idukki district, insulted the Official at a public meeting, Thomas said.
Remarks of Mani cannot be treated as a criticism of the act of an official with good intention, he said.
Mani had accused the official of conspiring with RSS in pulling down a giant Cross allegedly put up by encroaching government land and said he should be sent to a mental asylum.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.